Protesters have been calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. Supporters of popular politician Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf party have been staging a sit-in outside parliament house since Tuesday night, after a long march from northeastern city Lahore to Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. They are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pave the way for new elections. “After consultation within the party, we have decided that if it comes to talks aimed at breaking the deadlock, we are ready for that,” announced the party's Vice Chairman Qureshi. “Our position is clear. We want to strengthen the democracy instead of derailing it.” The Pakistan Awami Tehrik party, which teamed up with Khan for the protest, said it would also be opening talks with the government. Their leader Tahir-ul-Qadri is calling for a more drastic revolution to overturn Pakistan's political system.
Many believe that earlier refusals to talk with the government, until Sharif resigned, may have been tempered by the powerful army's public call for restraint and a peaceful resolution.